Microsoft Reports Earnings: DJIA Market Close For Thursday, January 24

The Dow closed up +46.00 (+0.33%) at 13,825.33.

Personally, I think the Dow should close tomorrow above 14,000 and get that out of the way.

I guess the S&P 500 briefly hit the 1500 mark sometime today.

After the bell, Microsoft (MSFT) reported earnings that beat analysts’ predictions for its profit but missed on revenue. Microsoft earned $6.4 billion, or 76 cents per share, during the final three months of 2012. That was down 4 percent from $6.6 billion, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier. The company’s total revenue rose 3 percent from the previous year to $21.5 billion. Earnings were a penny above the average analysts estimate, while total revenue fell below analysts’ projections by about $100 million.

Also after the close, AT&T (T) managed to beat expectations on revenue but missed on profit. AT&T’s quarterly loss was $3.86 billion, or 68 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $6.68 billion, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier, also caused by an adjustment to pension and retiree benefit obligations. AT&T provides benefits to about 360,000 retirees and two years ago, it started accounting for its retirement benefit obligations with an annual fourth-quarter adjustment. That adjustment produces big swings in fourth-quarter net income that are not related to the company’s underlying business, but do show its large obligations to it’s retirees. Excluding the pension adjustment and some of the cost of repairs from Superstorm Sandy, AT&T earned 44 cents per share, 2 cents short of the average analyst estimate. Revenue was $32.6 billion, just up from the $32.5 billion a year ago. So, revenue slightly exceeded analyst estimates of $32.2 billion.

The yen plunged 1.5% versus the U.S. dollar, reversing gains from earlier this week.

European markets ended higher.

Asian markets ended mostly lower.

Oil prices moved higher.

Gold prices slid lower.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.86%.

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